online presence management

Why Blogging is Crucial to Your Personal Online Reputation

blogging online reputationThere's this notion that blogging is something that only crazy people do, people who want to post pictures of their cat or who have too much time on their hands. Businesses, or very important people, may do it, but its not something that normal people do. This notion needs to change.Everyone, at this point, has an online presence and reputation. Even if you avoid social media all together, there are always articles, documents, and your friend's content that can show up online under your name. Don't forget the possibility of someone having the same name, and a less-than-clean record, that could show up instead of you. You need something that can present what you want to present online and on search engines, and blogging is a great way to do that. Here's why blogging is crucial to your personal online reputation:

Show that You're an Expert

It's that whole conundrum with finding a job: you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. Showing experience and expertise is tough without a job, but not impossible, and a blog is a great way to demonstrate both those things. For example, Ted Juch has a great blog on using Google Docs, and that's all that blog is about. Spreadsheets, documents, how to create them, and what you can do with them. Yes, it's geeky and niche, but no one else is doing it while many people have used Google Docs to do something at some point in time. Also, commitment to this topic means that Juch will be the go-to guy on anything Google Docs. It's too bad the blog hasn't been updated in a while, because a blog like that one is a great one to position yourself as an expert.

Work on Your Writing Skills

Nearly all companies, and all positions within those companies, seek people with great writing skills. It's a skill that's no longer reserved for English majors, copywriters, and marketing positions, but a skill that's hard to demonstrate unless you bring a portfolio to the interview (which isn't a bad idea). However, put the blog on the resume with the link, and the hiring manager can have a chance to see the blog and read a few posts. The blog will say a lot about your level of commitment and project management as well as your writing skills. Not only does practice make perfect, but there are tons of great resources out there (like this writer's blog) that specifically talk about how to be a better writer.

It's One Thing You Can Control

If you're applying for jobs, then you have to realize that hiring managers are looking at social media profiles and search results for additional information. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 43% of hiring managers who research applicants on social media sites say they have found something that has cost a candidate a job. You can't always control what shows up under your name, but a blog is one thing you can control. Blogs also connect with social media sites, so if your Facebook feed regularly features your newly published posts, then that's what hiring managers are going to see (versus those partying pics and status updates about hangovers).

Don't forget that the more you write, and the better your writing, the higher it will rank on search engines. The more posts you create equals more pages to find online and more positive ways for others to find you online. Also, your name is one of the easiest things for you to rank for you, so if you don't like what you see today when you type your name into the Google search bar, then that can change if you decide to blog and to blog often.

Content for Readers, Local Search, and Other Online Media News Stories

online media newsIf it was just about writing the darn articles, then the online media business wouldn't be as tough as it is. However, because some think it's that simply, it makes the industry that much more competitive. This is why the stories in this online media news roundup are so important: they illustrate the nuances blogs and online publications need to think about to set the bar high and to be successful in digital content. Below are the latest and most important stories in digital content and online media:

It's Not Just Getting Positive Press, It's Amplifying It Too

In content marketing, the new trends that's working really well for brands is a combination of earned and paid media. This is when brands are paying specifically to amplify and to syndicate earned media, particularly earned media that's positive. Publishers are experimenting with this combination as well, purchasing paid promotions on social media to highlight content that they want to highlight. The New York Times is experimenting with allowing brands to place specific ads with specific articles, and then allowing those brands to share those articles.

Readers Don't Like Gimmicky Content

It's unfortunate that something like this finds its way into the news roundup, but it bears repeating that an attractive headline on a crappy article will generate traffic while leaving your readers cheated and unsatisfied. Link baiting will hurt your brand in the long run, even though there is the short-term benefit of the traffic and the boost in advertising revenue. Readers don't like it, and without your readers, your blog/online publication is nothing. Also keep in mind that when blogs and online publications participate in this kind of content practices, it hurts the entire industry as well as the particular website. If one is willing to link bait and to cheat readers, then they will be suspicious of other websites. Also, put out one horrible piece of content and risk being labelled a link-baiter and publication just out to pull in advertising revenue.

Tailoring Blog Content for Local Search

Many blogs and online publications with a local twist, especially those starting out, often fail to include enough "local" into their content. This makes it tough for them to have their content rank for local search queries, to leverage local events, or to tie their niche to the local scene. This article from the Content Marketing Institute offers eight great tips on how a blog, online publication, or a local business can tailor their content toward local search. Two of these tips: using social media to promote posts (so many forget to do this, or don't do this enough/well) and nurturing your audience. You don't want to write just for the search engines!

Content Curators Aren't Without Impunity Either

Content curators and syndicates such as (which also employs a few writers and editors) typically don't create a lot of their own content. They find great work, and then share the great work. What's in that great work, and whether or not it's true or false, isn't the responsibility of the curator. However, a few hiccups with platform might be changing that perception. Several posts have gotten onto the site that have been misinformation or mindless rants, and something should be done to ensure that this doesn't happen again. It also means that companies like need to decide whether they are software companies or publishing companies, and ought to act accordingly.

Subscribe to the News Guru

3 Ways Not to Do Business Blogging, and How to Do It Right

business bloggingThere's a lot of great advice on how to do business blogging well, why it should be done, and what great business blogging can accomplish. There's also a lot of advice on the biggest and most common business blogging mistakes. However, there's not a whole lot that puts the two together, that actually shows you how to fix those mistakes and to go from blogging horribly to blogging well. Here are three wrong ways to do business blogging, and how to do it right:

Writing Articles that are Too Short

Search engines LOVE content that is of quality and is of value to the reader. Although it's possible, most of the time it is very difficult to accomplish both in a short post. Yet, many businesses still publish 200, 300-word posts regularly and expect that to be enough to provide value and benefit to the reader. Sometimes, it can, depending on the subject matter. However, most of the time, it doesn't because there isn't enough there to engage the reader and to provide enough information about the subject matter to ensure that the reader will come away with something valuable and beneficial.

The Fix: Shoot for 600-800 words. It allows you to go more in-depth on a topic and to be more comprehensive. This benchmark is also what Google recommends for blog posts, so that's another thing to keep in mind.

Publishing Inconsistently or Infrequently

Granted, our business blogging service case study involves publishing twice a month, but it also took two whole years to get the results that we did. Part of the reason why we got the results that we did was because we stuck to that schedule for two years, offering a sense of security and reliability to our audience, while writing content that is comprehensive and of value to our audience.

In business blogging, you need to publish frequently and to publish consistently. The schedule can't change from three times a week, to three times a month, to once a week, and then once a day. To your audience, that's not reliable. It's also not reliable for you to publish once a month or every other month and to do that consistently. That's not enough to retain an audience, as it's not enough to keep people coming back. You could be writing great posts, but if you're not writing these great posts consistently and frequently, then those great posts aren't going to get you anywhere.

And while we're talking about this, don't EVER post the "Sorry we haven't blogged in a while" post. No one cares, especially if you're only blogging to get something up because you haven't blogged in a while. When you publish an article, make sure that you have something to say.

The Fix: Find a schedule and stick to it. As stated, if twice a month is all you can do, then do that. If you can write more often, then do that consistently, as you'll see results and a return on your effort much, much sooner.

Writing Only About Yourself

Some businesses think that because it's their business blog, that it needs to be all about them, mentioning the company in every blog post and writing specifically about the company and/or its products and services. This is the wrong way of thinking, and this should be done on the rarest of occasions. Your business blog is the one place on your website that's for your potential customers. You need to make it that way, and writing about yourself doesn't accomplish that.

The Fix: A good way to change direction on this is to write down all the questions that customers typically ask, and all the questions that customers have ever asked. Then, write a post answering each question. This is a great way to start building a business blog that offers value and benefit to your audience and your potential customers.

Related Links:

5 Business Blogging Best Practices

How to Make Your Blog Article Titles More Search Engine Friendly

Blogging for Your Business: How Long Should a Post Be?